Supply chain relations have been governed by technology in the past few years. The fifth generation technology is among the new revolution in the supply chain. 5G is spreading its roots and linking a pool of devices and systems across the supply chain to offer seamless connectivity, advanced speed and low latency. Since the various industries in the chain increasingly rely on technology and are switching to automation, 5G in logistics has offered speedy networking to boost its operational efficiency and enhance productivity and profitability. Let us learn more about how 5G is used in logistics to facilitate supply chain operations.
What is 5G technology?
5G is being hailed as a 5th generation technology in telecommunications as a successor of 4G technology. The deployment of 5G began in 2019 and is advancing speedily to cover the globe. This wireless network can power up a pool of wireless devices without affecting the upload and download speed. 5G is born to give rise to robust connectivity, enhanced speed, broader coverage, and superior reliability. Numerous industries are switching to 5G swiftly and reaping benefits from its unified, consistent and empowered network connectivity. It will help bring a wave of advancement in trade operations, including the supply chain.
What is the need for 5G in the supply chain?
With technological advancements in recent years, the trade industry is advancing by integrating new technologies to fasten supply chain operations. The various supply chain operations depend on the shipping, logistics, transportation and container industry mainly for the seamless functioning of the supply chain. By switching to automation and newer technologies, all aspects of the supply chain have become immensely dependent on the Internet for every activity. All the computing resources that operate on the internet for relaying real-time information are connected. Since they consume lots of data, seamless network connectivity is essential. With the increase in digitalisation and automation, organisations managing the supply chain inputs must maintain the internet speed and its capacity to connect with various devices in one go. The impact of 5G on the supply chain will help improve delays, disruptions, operational efficiency, and profitability. Using 5G in logistics in the shipping industry offers more scope for speeding logistics processes.
How can 5G in logistics transform the supply chain?
It is vital to address the issues arising during supply chain management on the supply chain operations. A few key benefits of 5G in supply chain management are-
- Enhanced connectivity– Organizations faced speed issues with 4G technology, particularly when connecting multiple devices, leading to reduced performance. Since supply chain management uses a pool of devices and systems, 5G is the best fit. 5G technology is dedicated to giving a faster and more reliable internet speed, enhancing the connectivity between various devices and systems and allowing a seamless flow of information. It would be beneficial in making real-time and accurate data exchange, ensuring better decision-making.
- Low latency– With 5G technology, organisations involved in supply chain management can optimise their computer networks to process and transmit large amounts of data across systems with minimal delays. It enhances the customer experience by offering them real-time tracking and monitoring. 5G technology promotes automation as supply chain resources can be controlled remotely with a fast-speed internet connection.
- Supply chain visibility– 5G technology provides a resilient network that can adapt to the scalability of varying internet loads and the need for faster speed. It helps provide granular data into the various aspects of supply chain operations, including inventory, order status, and shipping routes. It is a plus point for increasing supply chain visibility and offering greater transparency to the customers while tracking their shipments. Container tracking systems can connect to seamlessly operate and transmit real time data across shipping networks. Complete visibility allows the supply chain management system to allocate and distribute resources wisely throughout the supply chain.
- Improving operational efficiency– It becomes more accessible for the supply chain management system to collect and analyse immense amounts of real-time data to draw in beneficial insights that can help improve the supply chain operations. Even the minutest of data is scanned and studied to be accommodated in the results so that every step and process in the supply chain is addressed and optimised. It helps in improving the productivity and profitability of the supply chain.
- AR/VR training– Augmented reality and virtual reality are technologies that are being continuously explored for their benefits. These technologies can train and guide workers and other employees to make them more skilled and fluent in their jobs by offering a virtually simulated environment. Safety programs can also use AR/VR for better experience and understanding. 5G, with its robust technology, higher bandwidth, and fast speed, can help boost AR/VR.
Is 5G necessary for logistics companies?
Global logistics constantly receives new demands for faster delivery and supply chain visibility. The logistics operations are growing complex as the communication channels are fragmented, challenges in the logistics industry are growing, and the customer demand for various products is unceasing. Integrating 5G in logistics will help relieve many logistics companies by optimising logistic operations and improving delivery speed. The 5G revolution is changing logistics through speed, accuracy, and reliability across the supply chain.
How does 5G enhance logistics operations?
- Enhanced communication with 5G– Integrating 5G in logistics allows devices and systems to seamlessly interact and share information across various channels. The high bandwidth offers speedy data movement to multiple systems in real time. This enables logistics companies to reply to and resolve customer queries and inefficiencies or delays during transit.
- 5G IoT application in logistics– Another innovative advantage of using 5G technology is real-time tracking. It helps transmit real-time data across long distances and is a boon for international shipping. It helps improve supply chain visibility for customers so that they can always track their shipment status. It also benefits logistics organisations as they can restock their inventories with speedy real-time tracking.
- 5G network for smart warehouses– The warehouses in logistics use a pool of resources ranging from vehicles, systems, and equipment to load, unload and store goods. Warehouse devices can connect and update themselves towards automation through effective, reliable and faster data transmission via 5G technology in logistics. With smart inventory tracking, smart shelves are also gaining pace. This way, IoT sensors detect and alert if any product in the inventory is getting out of stock and needs to be restocked.
- Autonomous vehicles for logistics– Autonomous vehicles depend on the Internet since manual tasks are minimised. An engineer can only take manual override from a remote location during emergencies. These vehicles operate by establishing an interconnect with cameras, IoT sensors and other devices for seamless movement. 5G technology allows autonomous vehicles to self-regulate themselves reliably, accurately and safely with its high-speed Internet, bandwidth and granular data. These self-driven vehicles are confined to warehouses but can soon move onto public roads.
- Optimising transport routes– Optimized routes significantly save expenses, fuel usage, and environmental damage. The various modes of transport in the logistics industry work on optimised routes. Still, in emergencies, it is necessary to change routes immediately to avoid any disruptions and delays. 5G technology is a saviour by instantly taking action and optimising new and better routes.
These are a few applications of 5G in logistics that offer unceasing growth and efficiency to the various logistics operations in the supply chain.
LOTUS Containers is a global-level shipping container marketing company that leases and sells new and used shipping containers. We have different types of containers, including reefer, standard, and 53ft intermodal containers.